Rau rangatira mā, e kui mā, e koro mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou.
Nau mai, haere mai ra ki Te Whare Kawana o Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Warm greetings to you all, and welcome to Government House Wellington.
Thank you all for coming this evening for this fundraiser in support of New Zealand Opera.
As many of you will know, David and I have had a long association with New Zealand Opera. When we first arrived at Government House, we determined that we would prioritise the importance of creativity in all forms and use this magnificent property whenever we could to support our arts and culture in suitably creative ways.
So far, we’ve hosted a performance by the New Zealand String Quartet, we’ve staged a one woman play, a ballet performance and a fashion art extravaganza. We’ve also hosted a photographic display and a film evening and later in the year we are even hosting a Ball for the Royal Scottish Country dance society.
This is our first cabaret evening and we are just delighted that Wyn Davies has made himself available for this fundraiser for NZ Opera.
I should confess that this is in fact a viceregal command performance. Wyn first performed his Just Wyn Cabaret to great acclaim here at Government House eleven years ago, in 2007. I feel sure some of you were here for that truly memorable evening.
So, on taking office, I wasted no time in requesting a repeat performance from Wyn, just as soon as he was able to fit it into his busy schedule as an internationally sought after opera conductor and, of course, as Director of Music for New Zealand Opera, where he is currently conducting the Elixir of Love.
We are thrilled that he has been persuaded to slot his cabaret show in between the Auckland and Wellington seasons.
I can assure you, we are in for a real treat.
To paraphrase Cole Porter, what could be more delightful, delicious and de-lovely than a performance by Wyn of classic compositions that have stood the test of time?
The answer is: to have Wyn joined by Natasha Wilson, a wonderful rising talent on the opera scene, and a principal performer in the Elixir of Love, which opens here in a couple of weeks’ time. David and I saw it yesterday in Auckland and we strongly recommend it to you all.
Tonight’s about the entertainment, so I won’t delay things any longer.
Thank you again for coming, and please sit back and enjoy cabaret, Government House style.